Parkinson’s, Dopamine Agonists, and Gambling

The August, 2009 Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50, contains an article entitled, “The Link Between Parkinson’s and . . . Gambling?”  This article, and a 4/8/09 article on the Mayo Clinic website, describes the connections between the loss of impulse control among those suffering from Parkinson’s disease–especially those patients taking a class of drugs called dopamine agonists–and chronic gambling.  The Mayo study found that one in six of Parkinson’s patients on dopamine agonists developed “new-onset, potentially destructive behaviors, notably compulsive gambling or hypersexuality.”  The Hopkins newsletter reported a National Institutes of Health survey of 297 Parkinson’s patients, “14% of respondents on dopamine agonists reported symptoms like pathogical gambling.”

Public policy should address the need to protect this vulnerable Parkinson’s population on dopamine agonists from being exploited by legalized gambling.

© Copyright 2010, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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One Response to “Parkinson’s, Dopamine Agonists, and Gambling”

  1. […] Please see my earlier post on the connection between Parkinson’s disease, a class of drugs called dopamin…. […]

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